Farm to School Taskforce

Overview
The mission of the San Diego County Farm to School Taskforce (F2ST) is to increase consumption of local, healthful, seasonal foods and to improve food literacy within schools. In 2015, the F2ST had 38 members consisting of 23 school districts, eight local food and farm businesses, and seven community partners. The F2ST vision is that San Diego County schoolchildren enjoy healthy foods that maximize seasonal and local products that bolster student achievement and wellness.

Impact
San Diego County school districts purchase $19 million in locally grown food annually, representing 25% of their overall food procurements. They also operate over 200 school gardens and over 400 salad bars. Together, F2ST members represent 90% of all school meals served in San Diego County, 85% of school gardens, 99% of the local food purchases. F2ST members conducted roughly twice as many F2S activities as non-members. The F2ST and its member districts are local, state, and national farm-to-school leaders, and serve as a model for how a region can collaboratively grow the farm-to-school movement.

History
The F2ST started in 2010 as a subcommittee of the San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative’s (COI) Schools and After-School Domain. The COI is a 10-year Collective Impact initiative to reduce and prevent childhood obesity in San Diego County through policy, systems, and environmental change. The Farm to Institution Center (F2I Center) serves as the “backbone organization” that facilitates both the COI and the F2ST.

Goals

  1. Increase education and awareness about the connection between regional food systems and student health and well-being.
  2. Create and foster opportunities for collaboration among farm to school stakeholders.
  3. Increase farm to school in San Diego County school districts.
  4. Promote San Diego County farm to school activities.
  5. Increase opportunities to advance and enhance farm to school through policy.

F2ST Chairs:

  • Mark Mendoza, Director of Child Nutrition Services, Cajon Valley Union School District
  • Sandy Hindi, Registered Dietitian for Child Nutrition Services, National School District